In the market for an Android tablet? Don’t know whether or not you should wait? With the summer behind us and IFA 2014 kicking off this week, now is precarious time to be in the market. Here are our picks for the best slates currently available and a look at what’s on the horizon.
5. Nexus 7
The Nexus 7 was never renown for its hardware prowess, but the tablet continues to deliver in other areas like price. As a Nexus device, it will also be among the first to see the highly-anticipated update to Android L. With an HD display and modest quad-core processing, the N7 will remain relevant until Google finally releases its long-rumored successor.
4. LG G Pad
LG recently launched G Pad refresh comes in three sizes with prices starting at $150, a price that by itself makes these slates worth consideration. Add in some of the subtle refinements LG introduced with the highly-touted G3 and you end up with a set of tablets that successfully mix mid-range specs with a top-of-the-line feel.
The Xperia Z2 Tablet is about as “Sony Style” as it gets. With refined lines and the specs to give the competition a run for its money, if you want to turn heads while you effortlessly blow through video, games, and web content, the Z2 is the tablet for you.
When the SHIELD Tablet launched, we would be the first to tell you we weren’t holding out high hopes for the device. NVIDIA came through, however, with a device that takes the great gaming capabilities of their less-than-succesful SHIELD handheld and pairs them with an all-around solid Android tablet. A great device for hardcore gamers, the casual user should find it equally appealing.
1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S
The long wait for Samsung to bring their Super AMOLED technology to a tablet was worth it. The Tab S not only delivers gorgeous visuals via its hi-res display, but it sets the standard for every Android slate to come. Priced to compete with Apple’s iPad, it might be the first truly worth Android competitor the long-standing tablet king.
We don’t have room for every Android tablet in our top five, but here are several new and currently available slates worth your consideration.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook — Samsung’s popular Galaxy Tab meets Barnes & Nobles line of e-readers, and it’s a match made in heaven.
- Lenovo Yoga HD 10+ — This flexible tablet features a built-in kickstand and can “yoga” itself into several positions for maximum usability.
- LG G Pad 8.3 — Still relevant despite the launch of new G Pads, look for this solid Android tablet to go on sale frequently.
- Amazon Kindle Fire HDX — With easy access to Amazon’s library of digital content, this is a true media machine.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro — This “Pro” version of the Galaxy Tab might lag behind the Tab S in some areas, but it is worth consideration as one of the most powerful Android slates on the market.
Tablets to Look Forward To
IFA 2014 promises to bring even more tablets to look forward to, but here are the unreleased but announced Android slates that have quivering with anticipation.
LG Tab Book
When the LG Tab Book hits the market, it will quite possibly be the most powerful Android slate available. It’s that simple. Unfortunately, since its announcement a few weeks back, little else has surfaced, including details on release date and regional availability.
ASUS Transformer Book V
Since it was shown off at the beginning of summer we have been anxiously awaiting ASUS’ Transformer Book V, the successor the manufacturer’s popular line of Transformer tablets. This one cannot only go from tablet to laptop and back, but it can triple as a phone and then do it all with Windows.
Will new Nexus tablet launch before next month’s Best Tablets list is set in stone? Unlikely, but this month we have another that almost certainly will.
HTC Nexus tablet
After earning its WiFi certification, the HTC Volantis/Flounder (codenames for what is presumed to be the next Nexus tablet) is closer to reality than ever. We are expecting to see an official announcement of this slate alongside the release of Android L and possibly a new Nexus phone. There is still some debate as to whether it will be a true Nexus 7 replacement or a new, larger tablet dubbed the Nexus 9.
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
Sony’s Xperia Z2 Tablet has been a favorite of ours since its release, and the rumored Z3 Tablet Compact could be equally as enticing. What do we expect of this new slate that could be revealed at IFA 2014 next week? A smaller display than the Z2 Tablet’s along with specs similar to the upcoming Xperia Z3 smartphone. That sounds like a recipe for success to us.
What Say You?
Did we leave your favorite tablet off of our rankings? Did we get it wrong or right? Take us to school in the comments below and let us know your picks for the best Android tablets.